The Prindle Post
For thousands of years, the practice of hunting whales was exceptionally common. The animals were killed for meat, and, later, for blubber that could be converted into oil—an increasingly valued commodity during the industrial revolution. While whaling provided tremendous benefits to human beings, the practice was, of course, devastating to whale populations and to individual whales. Arguments against the practice were ready at hand. A number of species, such as grays and humpbacks, were being hunted into near extinction. The reduction of the whale population led to changes in aquatic ecosystems. What’s more, the practice was cruel—whaling equipment was crude and violent. Whales under attack often died slowly and painfully and plenty of harpooned whales were seriously injured rather than killed, causing them pain and diminishing the quality of their lives. To complicate matters, whales have enormous brains and live complex social lives. There is much that we don’t know about whale cognition, but there is at least a compelling case to be made that they are very intelligent.
Robison-Green, Rachel. "A Question of Motivation: Moral Reasons and Market Change ". The Prindle Post. https://www.prindlepost.org/2019/05/a-question-of-motivation-moral-reasons-and-market-change/